Pocket High Street: The anti-Amazon saviour of the high street

Love the pocket high street

I sat down on a sunny day in Lord’s Tavern with Alex Schlagman, co-founder of Pocket High Street and owner of this very orange bicycle.

His London based startup has created an app that allows cyclists to type in an item they’re looking for and then get prices in London’s bike shops. They can then buy the item via the app and pick it up on their commute home.

Perhaps even smarter than that, the app has a feed of potential products you might like. As you add products to your wish list and swipe away those you don’t like, it can learn from your preferences and show you more relevant items.

It’s all pretty slick and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to put together the extensive catalogue of over 20,000 products.

Bike shops love it as it’s a way for them to advertise their products and cyclists can shop around, support their local businesses and instantly pickup items without waiting for an Amazon delivery.

It’s a win, win.

Currently, the app is available on iPhone only but will soon be making its way over to Android. I recommend following their Facebook page and Twitter for more announcements.

It’s exciting to see a startup like this coming out of London with a lofty goal of saving the high street. Clearly the cycling world is a great starting point, but it’ll be interesting to see where the app will go from there.

Alex is breaming with excitement as he describes their journey so far. It’s a familiar entrepreneurial tale of disappointments mixed with breakthroughs, right at the moment when you’re about to give up.

It’s all been made possible thanks to funding from various sources, including Start Up Loans, and a collaboration with a digital media agency in London.

If you’re interested, give the Pocket High Street app a try and let me know how you get on.

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16 Responses to Pocket High Street: The anti-Amazon saviour of the high street

  1. steve 21/08/2014 at 8:32 am #

    This is just plain silly. Anyone who follows the bike business knows that this has been attempted 3 or 4 times before, and they all sank without a trace. This one seems even more special being an app only with no web site, and currently iphone only at that.

    • Andreas 21/08/2014 at 8:56 am #

      It’s the first I’ve heard of an app like this, but I’d be interested in hearing about companies that have attempted something similar?

    • Monty 21/08/2014 at 9:05 am #

      There are very few new new ideas Steve. Most things have been done before. Being ‘new’ or first doesn’t always correlate with being successful. There were other search engines before Google f’rinstance. So perhaps not *that* silly.

      PS. Andreas – I love the concept of ‘breaming’ with excitement. Similar to ‘piking’ with aggression…?

      • Andreas 21/08/2014 at 3:44 pm #

        Hahaha a typo I believe, but I’ll leave it in there 🙂

  2. joe 21/08/2014 at 9:24 am #

    As a keen cyclist I have been waiting for an app like his to come to the market (never heard of any of he’s previous attempts). Having downloaded it a few of weeks ago I am now totally hooked….well designed and simple to use!!

  3. Matty 21/08/2014 at 10:05 am #

    Downloaded this app a few weeks ago & tbh it’s been great!

    Purchased a couple of products already & collected them from my local bike store in hackney – their website doesn’t let you buy or reserve anything – in fact it only just about has a website!! 😉

    Beats ordering stuff online for delivery then having to queue up at the post office to collect it (hungover) on a Saturday morning.

    Those orange wheels are pretty jazzy!

  4. Giles Roadnight 21/08/2014 at 10:16 am #

    I assume that all the shops will have good bike parking. I am not sure I would use it though as I don’t carry a lock with me so wouldn’t want to leave my bike outside.
    I only visit Evans on the way home as I know I can take my bike in with me.

    BTW – I am still amazed that people develop apps for iPhone first when there are so many more Android phones out there. Even better develop one app, one codebase and launch on both at the same time!

    • Matty 21/08/2014 at 11:20 am #

      Giles- I don’t carry a lock either as I have spent a fortune on my bike……..it never leaves my sight.

      Also in 18 years cycling I’ve never been to a bike shop that doesn’t let you bring a bike in!!

    • MJ Ray 21/08/2014 at 12:00 pm #

      I’m surprised people don’t launch as Mobile websites first then apps if wanted. I dislike apps on my phone, sneaking around and eating up my data allowance and battery charge. I keep it to the bare minimum and can go weeks between recharging if I’m not using GPS tracking much.

  5. Alex 21/08/2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks Andreas. We now have 40,000 products on offer (and counting) across 100+ local London bike shops. And lots of our early sales have represented the 1st ever Click&Collect orders our retailers have ever done! Still breaming with excitement 😉

  6. Dave 22/08/2014 at 11:43 am #

    I will try the App when it comes to Android. All the devices in our home are Android. Apple products are for people that don’t understand technology and will buy a new car because they like the colour. Apple make very good products but they decide what you can have, how you can use it and where you can get it.

    I left my parents home when I was sixteen and have made my own decisions ever since and don’t need auntie apple to look after me

    • Jason 24/08/2014 at 10:46 am #

      My god is there no forum or comment feed you can’t see from miserable, moaning fandroids?!?!???

      Just live your life and forget what other people are doing ok?

      The app sounds interesting, I’ll download and have a play later.

      • Dave 24/08/2014 at 11:34 am #

        I did say that their products are very good. My first encounter with Apple was the ipod, and I bought the best model available at the time, downloaded iTunes, loaded all my music on it.

        All was well for a while, but I was visiting a friend and asked if I could plug in and charge it. He had iTunes on his computer and it nuked all my music

        I went home uninstalled iTunes and tried to load my music onto my old mp3 player. ITunes had changed the format for all my music on my computer so it would only play on iTunes but as my ipod had been nuked iTunes saw it as a new ipod and wouldn’t allow my computer music to save on the ipod.

        I rest my case….

        • Simon 13/09/2014 at 5:10 pm #

          Sounds like somebody didn’t understand the technology they were trying to use! Ruining an iPod just by trying to charge it? Never heard of that before.

          Great idea for an app btw.

          Sent from my iPhone.

  7. Chris Page 31/08/2014 at 11:11 am #

    No iPhone, so I can’t do it now.

    Don’t do Twitter, don’t do Facebook, so will I ever hear about an Android version?

    We’ll see.

    • Dave 31/08/2014 at 11:17 am #

      Don’t despair enough of us keep nagging it will make them realise that Android users money is just as good

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